Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement

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Developing digital competencies

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team, in collaboration with the Academic Development section of DCQE, have developed a new familiarisation programme to help colleagues find out more about using digital technologies to complement and enhance their teaching and interactions with students.  The programme covers a range of different areas, from Moodle basic building blocks to utilising social media, copyright material and the virtual classroom.

The Developing Digital Competencies programme is designed for a wide range of colleagues – those who are new to digital learning technologies to those who have a wide knowledge (but can always learn more!). The programme comprises a series of sessions grouped under three headings: Basic Building Blocks; Next Steps; and Exploring other technologies.

The programme not only considers the technical aspects but also the underpinning pedagogical rationale needed to answer such questions as:

“Why should I use a forum (group activity, wiki or other functionality) in my teaching?”

“How will this tool improve my teaching materials?”

For enquiries regarding booking, please contact


Digital Learning: Basic Building Blocks

Basic Building Block sessions:

  • ‘First steps in Moodle considers the basics  of creating a course in Moodle, for example:  adding a file or a folder to a unit;  adding images and videos;  adding a page (single page, similar to a webpage) and a book  (a collection of pages grouped together – very useful for a handbook or similar resource).

  • ‘Finding out about the Forum and Quiz tools demonstrates how to setup and use the forum tool to promote discussion and, in addition, how it can be used as for assessment. The session will also show how the to set up a quiz, use a number of question types and consider some case studies of how colleagues have used the quiz tool to support learning.

  • ‘Online assessment explores how colleagues can use Moodle and Turnitin for assignment handling.  We will consider the entire workflow from setting up a submission, marking on and offline, and finally creating online feedback. In the session we will also look at the advantages (and disadvantages) of using desktops, laptops, iPads, Nexus tablets and other equipment for the electronic management of assessment.

  • ‘Rubrics: Moodle and Turnitin’ explores how colleagues can use Moodle and Turnitin rubrics to standardise their assignment marking.  We will consider the entire workflow from setting up a rubric and then attaching it to the assignment, marking and creating online feedback with the rubric as a backbone to the process.

  • ‘Moodle Baseline is a combination of a Module template and a set of best practice that content creators can follow. In this way the University can provide a consistent and comprehensive online learning experience for all of our students at the University of Portsmouth. This session will demonstrate each tab within the baseline and how you can easily incorporate it within your unit. For more information on Moodle Baseline click here.


Digital Learning: Next Steps

Next Steps sessions:

  • ‘Groups and Groupings covers how to create groups and groupings.  We will also discuss how groups can be used to allocate marking groups in large courses and how the new functionality linking Moodle to Google groups can be used to email student groups and share documents.

  • Creative use of Moodle explores the virtual classroom and web conferencing software that is supported by the University; we will discuss how the software can be used inside and outside the classroom, particularly to support distance learners.

  • ‘More about the Moodle Quiz expands on the Theme 1 session and looks at all the question types. We will consider how the Moodle quiz can be used as a revision tool, as an examination tool and how to use Moodle in an exam environment.  We will look at how to create a quiz workflow to help structure assessments and, finally, we will discuss how to create and use a question bank.

  • ‘Building in interactivity highlights the useful Moodle tools that encourage student interaction and engagement. It will demonstrate how colleagues can use the Workshop tool for peer learning, the database tool for collaboration and the Questionnaire to gain an insight into the students’ perspective.  We will also briefly look at the Lesson tool, possibly one of the most powerful tools in Moodle.

  • ‘The power of the Lesson explores the Lesson tool and how it can be used to create workbooks or guide students through the decision making process. We will consider positive and negative aspects of using the tool and how it can be used in a teaching scenario.


Digital Learning: Exploring Other Technologies

Exploring Additional Technologies sessions:

  • Lecture Capture and Reusable Learning Materials’ considers various other technologies that can be used for teaching and learning. For example, Relay, Fuse and Studio for lecture capture to deliver to students who are not campus based. These technologies allow students to revisit material for reflection or revision.
  • ‘Enhancing lectures looks at technologies that can be used to complement and enhance traditional lectures,  for example creating dynamic presentations using Prezi and setting up interactive sessions with Nearpod. We will discuss how these options, and others, can be utilised to accommodate colleagues’ preferred teaching styles and enhance students’ learning.
  • ‘Social networks for teaching and learning investigates the potential of using social networking and media to engage students. The session will investigate how lecturers can use blogs, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to create a more varied and vibrant learning environment.
  • ‘Accessing and using valid, legitimate online resources discusses how to access online educational resources from a range of sources in order to provide a varied learning experience.  The session will also consider copyright and how to avoid contravening copyright laws. Colleagues attending this session are encouraged to share their data sources and experience of online resources with others in the group.
  • ‘Digital tools for distance learning  looks at the creation of digital materials and is focused predominantly on distance learning courses - although the materials discussed can easily be transferred to a campus-based course. We examine the equipment you might need to get started, and how you can rework existing content into a digital framework. Colleagues are encouraged to share their experience of developing online resources with others in the group.
  • ‘Facilitating Scenario Based Learning’ with Degree Apprenticeships a new challenge and Distance Learning a growing part of the university global strategy, what can we all do to create interesting resources for students? Scenario based learning is one way to get the students applying their real world experience and knowledge into a learning context. It provides them with a framework to develop their knowledge and look at examples that other students can offer. This session will demonstrate a course workflow that combines the workshop, database, forum and lesson tools to provide an interactive and collaborative learning experience for students. It will look at how each tool is an individual part of a whole process that can help provide a cohesive learning framework.
  • ‘H5P - The Moodle Multi-tool’ highlights the useful H5P suite of tools that is available through Moodle. H5P is a  tool that allows the building of interactive and engaging resources. The session will demonstrate how colleagues can use H5P in a variety of ways, briefly looking at all the resources and activities available as part of H5P. Once a brief overview of the tools has been done we will investigate a few specific tools in accordance with the needs of the session attendees. Assessing how best each tool can fit a pedagogic purpose will be a key part of helping decide how to use H5P within a unit site. “Where it is best to use these activities?” Is a question to consider during the selection process so that developing a student's understanding of the course materials is always the driving factor behind each tool's use.